Our Shifting Goals – Nature-Based Solutions for Our Children
The focus has shifted. It’s no longer about what we’ve been doing for the past 20 years; it’s about our current situation. Our goal is different now. In the last 20 to 30 years, playground designs that are made of plastic, steel, and rubber would have provided a different kind of play than what children experience in their backyards or on the street, where they interact with nature, sensory experiences, and various organisms vital for their immune system. In the past, when kids had 2, 3, 6, or 8 hours of play per day, they obtained these benefits naturally.
Now, children spend an average of 48 minutes per day outdoors, and many have at least two days each week where they don’t go outside at all. The few places with playgrounds need to provide everything children require immunologically, cognitively, and more, as we are at a deficit in these areas, and children need these experiences more than ever. That is why we are advocating for cities to invest in natural playground training to find out all the benefits that these types of play spaces give to healthy childhood development.